"PURITY OF MORALS, FINN."by@anthonytrollope


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Mr. Quintus Slide was now, as formerly, the editor of the People's Banner, but a change had come over the spirit of his dream. His newspaper was still the People's Banner, and Mr. Slide still professed to protect the existing rights of the people, and to demand new rights for the people. But he did so as a Conservative. He had watched the progress of things, and had perceived that duty called upon him to be the organ of Mr. Daubeny. This duty he performed with great zeal, and with an assumption of consistency and infallibility which was charming. No doubt the somewhat difficult task of veering round without inconsistency, and without flaw to his infallibility, was eased by Mr. Daubeny's newly-declared views on Church matters. The People's Banner could still be a genuine People's Banner in reference to ecclesiastical policy. And as that was now the subject mainly discussed by the newspapers, the change made was almost entirely confined to the lauding of Mr. Daubeny instead of Mr. Turnbull. Some other slight touches were no doubt necessary. Mr. Daubeny was the head of the Conservative party in the kingdom, and though Mr. Slide himself might be of all men in the kingdom the most democratic, or even the most destructive, still it was essential that Mr. Daubeny's organ should support the Conservative party all round. It became Mr. Slide's duty to speak of men as heaven-born patriots whom he had designated a month or two since as bloated aristocrats and leeches fattened on the blood of the people. Of course remarks were made by his brethren of the press,—remarks which were intended to be very unpleasant. One evening newspaper took the trouble to divide a column of its own into double columns, printing on one side of the inserted line remarks made by the People's Banner in September respecting the Duke of ——, and the Marquis of ——, and Sir —— ——, which were certainly very harsh; and on the other side remarks equally laudatory as to the characters of the same titled politicians. But a journalist, with the tact and experience of Mr. Quintus Slide, knew his business too well to allow himself to be harassed by any such small stratagem as that. He did not pause to defend himself, but boldly attacked the meanness, the duplicity, the immorality, the grammar, the paper, the type, and the wife of the editor of the evening newspaper. In the storm of wind in which he rowed it was unnecessary for him to defend his own conduct. "And then," said he at the close of a very virulent and successful article, "the hirelings of —— dare to accuse me of inconsistency!" The readers of the People's Banner all thought that their editor had beaten his adversary out of the field.
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Anthony Trollope

Anthony Trollope was a novelist.

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